H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Grant is Giving Children of Prisoners a Life-changing Experience
At-risk valley youth, whose parents are incarcerated, will benefit from a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
The grant was awarded to Calicinto Ranch, Inc., which offers boys and girls of prisoners a chance to break the cycle of crime in their families by providing the kids with an experience that demonstrates life choices.
The grant is sponsoring 50 Coachella Valley kids, whose parents are incarcerated, with a 3-day experience at Calicinto Ranch. The specialized camp offers these young people guidance, instruction, character training, positive interaction with law enforcement officers and an opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation and ranch activities with genuine love and care. At the camp, kids are accompanied by screened mentors from their local cities, so they may bond and continue to develop relationships beyond their week on the ranch. With the goal of incarceration prevention, Calicinto Ranch and its volunteers also provide year-round programs, services and events for children of incarcerated parents.
“Camp at Calicinto Ranch has impacted young people in profound ways as they participate in animal care, horseback riding, and other wholesome, fun ranch activities, alongside caring, volunteer adult mentors,” said Sophia Pirelli, Executive Director of Calicinto Ranch. “Our goal is to give more kids this life-changing experience each year.”
California spends between $35,000-$50,000 per inmate annually. The cost of camp at Calicinto Ranch is only $500 per child and is considered by many donors as an investment in incarceration prevention. Sponsoring a camper covers transportation, food, program materials, crafts, pictures and memory books, t-shirts, as well as program management and camp staff costs. These hard costs say nothing of the hope and encouragement that also comes with the program.
“The people at Calicinto Ranch are providing foundational learning to help put kids on a positive, purposeful and productive path for their future. I’m happy we can be a part of this,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
The Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership also offers recipients media exposure. Calicinto Ranch was featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on the cbslocal2.com website throughout July.
“Watching these kids experience this life-changing program is extremely rewarding,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.
To learn more about Calicinto Ranch, visit www.calicintoranch.org or call 951-654-6838.